It takes tremendous courage to step off the safe path. There will always be those who discourage you from doing so. That’s because they are scared. Scared for you, but mostly scared for themselves. But if you can muster that courage, your life will open in ways you never knew possible.
It’s been done before, rest assured. And it may not have always ended up as planned, though it’s always ended up as it’s meant to. And that’s where the courage really comes in. It’s trusting in a greater unknown. That’s terrifying for most. Don’t fool yourself, you’re not alone. Because in that instant – that letting go – you’re no longer in control. And if there is one thing that we are taught to believe in from day one here in the West, it’s that control is a necessary tool for a happy life.
Control is everywhere in our lives. For me it took travelling to really appreciate just how much our lives can be controlled. We’re told where to drive, where to stop, where to dance, where to sit, where to be entertained, where not to speak. The list is long. You may be inclined to argue that the control is necessary in most situations and that’s fair, so long as you’re willing to hear the opposite.
India is a brilliant example of a land with little control. Traffic lanes and lights are seen as mere suggestions. You won’t be seen as despicable for burping in public. You can practice your religion and belief with relative impunity. You can walk downtown without shoes. You can eat with your fingers. Cows can have the right of way in the busiest cities of the world.
Much of this might sit uncomfortably with you. That’s OK. But know that within the chaos of the unknown lies tremendous peace. This is why India is the primary land of pilgrimages. You want to find a teacher for your religion, dance, yoga, therapy, or other inclination? You’ll find them in India. And you’ll be allowed to be who you are. Nobody will frown upon it.
The concept of KOOSHOO formed over several months for Rachel and I as we spent a year travelling through Asia. A five month voyage through Tibet, Nepal and India was the heart and soul of the trip. We'd both left wonderful jobs in Vancouver that were precisely in line with what western society deems proper evolution: security, opportunity and money. Next up was a mortgage and no doubt children would have followed shortly thereafter. And there is nothing wrong with that!
The path was paved and well-lit. There really was no way of getting lost. Within in us though was a powerful longing for more. At the time we didn't know what that "more" was but we decided together that the risk of stepping off the safe path outweighed the security of the present. We bought one-way tickets to Asia, said our goodbyes and departed to a future of freedom.
It’s difficult to imagine a world without control but that’s exactly why finding the courage to step off the safe path is so difficult for so many of us. With control comes the perception of a great big safety net. As recent downturns have proved however, that safety net is really little more than a mirage. This is why people who work their entire lives for a company can be let go in-an-instant come a downturn. It's also why you may feel resentment if you’re doing "what you're supposed to be doing" and it's not your passion. The safety net is a concept meticulously crafted by generations to keep us from straying. After all, queen bees need devoted, no-questions-asked worker bees. That's how they build their empires.
We all have a mission in life. We all have the choice to listen and follow our hearts or stay on the prescribed path.
Since we began living a freer reality four years ago, we have taken a keen interest in engaging with people who exude a genuine happiness in their lives. The underlying commonality amongst these people is that they have discovered their purpose (mission) in life. The places and stories you love most in life are most likely led by someone who is following their heart. Intrinsically we all recognize the difference between a person living their dream and the person living the dream they were told to believe.
We are now part of the collective that is living their dream. Today we both teach yoga and craft organic yoga clothes that we're immensely proud of. We don't know where our path will lead (which is great!) though we feel fulfilled and have found the "more" we were looking for. It is when you let go of control that you allow your destiny to unfold.
We get one life. What’s holding you back from harnessing your courage (something you have in terrific abundance), listening to your heart and following your dreams?
One of the entrepreneurs I respect most in life once told me that the bus of opportunity will stop at your feet many times in your life. You may not need to get on that first time but know that if you say "no thanks" too many times, the bus will be less likely to stop for you next time. No more waiting, your time is NOW. Get on the bus!
In next week's blog we'll explore some of the tools you have available for finding your purpose and how to take the first courageous step on that new journey.
Hearing the stories of courage from others is one of the most powerful forms of lighting a fire within. We'd LOVE to hear how you're living your dreams...